Aussie-made subs, you’re joking?
SO the Americans and the Brits want to share their nuclear technology with that little guy Downunder. Presumably they mean Morrison. The Yanks shared their nuclear technology with the Japanese at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and then with the Marshall Islands. While the Brits gave the First Nation Aboriginal people at Maralinga a taste of their nuclear prowess. Then they left without cleaning up after them. Such was the forelock tugging that went on in the Menzies era, they were under no obligation, it was our pleasure. Considering our vast experience with submarine building, who in their right mind would crew a nuclear sub made Downunder? Sid Abraham
WE’RE THE SUCKERS
OUR marketing PM’s acronym AUKUS for the new sub deal is AUKward to say the least! The Americans are leading the deal and should come first, but USUKA (the first letter pronounced “you”) would hardly be acceptable, even if maybe appropriate? Patrick Naughtin
THANKS to Charles Miranda for his informative and interesting article on “Down Under nuclear subs deal in pact” (Mercury, September 17). Very helpful content, good graphics and key questions addressed in text boxes. I now have an idea of what is inside a sub.
Glenys Jones Blackmans Bay
IT became increasingly obvious that the Morrison government was examining all options to wriggle out of the $90 billion French contract to build 12 Attack-class diesel-electric submarines. The AUKUS agreement has offered
this opportunity where the US, with the United Kingdom, will help Australia to develop a flotilla of nuclear submarines.
On the surface this revised policy may seem prudent, the depths indicate that opening our doors prematurely to nuclear power is problematical. Aligning ourselves more closely to a country which has just exited ingloriously from a 20-year war in Afghanistan, does not provide confidence.
Nevertheless, for a government that has kept its head in the sand over many issues, the ability to stay submerged for longer would be most desirable.
Ed Sianski West Moonah
AUSTRALIA’S involvement in nuclear submarines without nuclear energy is extraordinary, and to align itself with the US and the United Kingdom against China, our major trading partner, is a game of Russian roulette.
After subservient roles in Vietnam,
Afghanistan and now against China at the instruction of world powers, Australia is again being played as a pawn in the game of world power politics without the strength and influence of major players, but at what expense to the Australian people?
Kenneth Gregson Swansea
BLUNDER AFTER BLUNDER
FIRST we have Tony Abbott trying to shore up his election prospects by cutting a deal with the Japanese to buy submarines, followed closely by Malcolm Turnbull’s deal with the French. These were nuclear-powered submarines that required mind-blowing modifications to make them diesel powered. Now we have a third PM, this one beleaguered by incompetence, scandal and debt, yet needing to go to an election in the next few months playing from the same song-sheet.
This time nuclear subs seem to be acceptable as they have US/UK design.
The taxpayers of Australia need to know just how much all of this posturing will have cost us by the time we exit the deposed contracts and sign the new one — $2bn has been mentioned as the starting point, with clearly much more to come. This taxpayer says its time for accountability in the wilful splurging of huge amounts of money so PMs can hold onto power. They appear to have no shame.
IT’S ALL ABOUT POWER
Helen Gourley Mt Rumney
IN commenting on the government’s decision to acquire nuclear powered submarines, Scott Morrison stated that all governments, including China, make decisions in their national interests. Reality is of course far more complex. Government decisions are made largely by those most influential or most powerful, in the context of their perceptions of what is in their interests in maintaining power, shaped by their own worldview or ideology, and their biased selection or manufacture of information that supports their choices, and biased rejection of disconfirming information.
One needs to look no further than the US, UK, and Australian government decisions to wage war against Iraq, and the nature of the US-led war against the Taliban in Afghanistan for examples where that reality led to disastrous results of likely multi-generational significance.
The unfortunate reality is power operates in such a way that those most interested in power are the most energetic and effective in persuasion, and in manipulation of colleagues. Power does not operate to select the wise, those most open to balanced advice, or those who seek to learn from history.
John Rolls Vale Park, South Australia